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2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 0 books toward her goal of 200 books.

Book Review: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

I really really liked this one – right up until the Big Reveal Twist, then I still sort of liked it but nowhere near as much… I know that rambles – which is a little ironic, since after the BRT the book abruptly closes up shop and wraps everything up tidily in a matter of dozens of pages, after the deliciously long slow build-up to get to that point. I think if Michaelides had kept the pacing/style more consistent, the BRT wouldn’t have bothered me so much. It’s not a bad plot contrivance – it’s been done, but was managed well enough as a reveal and it did catch me off guard.

But what I loved so much about the earlier pages of the book was the way it simmered, the pressure building ever so gently while the bubbles rose to the top and waited to explode with what I knew were going to be wild revelations…

Rather than continuing in that vein, the story abruptly went from a rolling boil to a nuclear meltdown, and felt rushed as a result. Still, Michaelides is a talented writer – his characters are full of foibles and failings and deviousness in a rather delicious blend that makes you love to hate them (or at least love to be strongly displeased with them) and that leaves you guessing as to everyone’s motivation and what *really* happens throughout the story. But many of those characters, whose build-up and lies and backstories contributed to the generalized feeling of tension throughout the majority of the book, just sort of melted into the background once the reveal happened. It was oddly unsatisfying – was the deception that they weren’t actually deceptive? Or did their actions not matter in the face of the larger twist?

It was a thoroughly enjoyable read for the vast majority of the book and the very ending wrapped things up in a cool way despite the abrupt nature of the pages preceding it. I gave it four stars and will definitely read Michaelides again – he has a knack for painting human frailty with words and for pairing that with interesting circumstances and unusual characterizations – but if things had been just a little more consistently paced throughout, I would definitely have given it five…

Thanks to NetGalley for my review copy. The Silent Patient releases in the U.S. on February 5, 2019.

Oh yeah, and I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the cover art here – how amazing is that?? It’s a perfect representation for the story and one of the things that initially drew me to the book!

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